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News 11th Meeting of the OECD Water Governance Initiative 12-13 November 2018, Palacio de Congresos, Zaragoza, Spain

On 12-13 November 2018, the OECD Water Governance Initiative held its 11th meeting at the Palacio de Congresos, Zaragoza, Spain. The meeting gathered 80+ practitioners, policymakers and representatives from major stakeholder groups. The agenda, list of participants, presentations, and pictures from the event are accessible online.


•       Delegates discussed WGI contributions to global water agendas. ANA Brazil and the World Water Council presented the main outcomes of the 8th World Water Forum (Brasilia, 18-23 March 2018) where the WGI led the governance theme. OECD Secretariat reported on the 2018 High Level Political Forum (New York, 9-18 July 2018), where the OECD programme on “A Territorial Approach to the SDGs” was launched. INBO updated delegates on the preparatory process of COP 24 (3-14 Dec, 2018, Katowice, Poland), the key themes of which include technology, solidarity and nature. Feria de Zaragoza, the venue hosts, invited delegates to the 24th SMAGUA fair on 5-7 February 2019 in Zaragoza.

•       Delegates peer-reviewed the paper “An application of the OECD Principles on Water Governance to Flood Management”. This paper provides a checklist of 100+ questions that help policy-makers and practitioners to assess whether governance systems are fit to manage flood in an effective, efficient and inclusive way. WGI delegates stressed the importance of this tool and issued a call to expand the exercise to other subsectors such as droughts or groundwater governance. The Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, presented the High-level Experts and Leaders Panel on Water and Disasters as well as a roadmap for the Principles on Investment and Financing for Water-related Disaster Risk Reduction.

•       OECD Secretariat presented the draft WGI 2019-2021 Strategy and Programme of Work for discussion. Breakout sessions were conducted to shape the objectives, outputs and timeline of the two Working Groups on Indicators and Capacity Development. There was strong support from members on the proposed programme of work, including the promotion of the use of existing tools such as the Indicator Framework. The WGI Strategy for 2019-2021 and the WGI Terms of Reference will be concluded by end of November and circulated to the OECD Regional Development Policy Committee for written approval.

•       Delegates shared key messages from latest research and reforms related to water: water governance in Brazil (ANA); water governance in a humanitarian context (Action contre la Faim); the City Water Resilience Framework (Arup); coastal zone groundwater management (BMZ); the role of women in the governance of shared waters (Women for Water Partnership).

•       Delegates welcomed the programme proposal “The Governance and Economics of Water Security for Sustainable Development in Africa” which aims to leverage the King Hassan II World Water Prize awarded to the OECD in the 8th World Water Forum. Members made useful suggestions on how they can contribute towards this programme.

•       The session “Water Governance and Circular Economy” shed light on changes in governance frameworks needed to transition from traditional linear economic practices to innovative circular practices. The OECD programme, “Economics and Governance of Circular Economy in Cities”, was presented. The session provided insight on Spain’s Circular Economy National Strategy, the City of Valladolid’s circular efforts, and the perspective of water operators on the business case for circular economy.

•       Delegates shared key messages on the latest water governance events: Adaptation Futures 2018, 18-21 June, Cape Town, South Africa; 26th Stockholm World Water Week, 26-31 August, Stockholm, Sweden; Water Education Indicator under SDG6.a, 4 September, 2018, Delft, The Netherlands; 8th Water Economics Forum, 27 September, Madrid, Spain; EUROPE-INBO 2018 Conference, 17-20 October, Seville, Spain; 18th International Anticorruption Conference, 22-24 October, 2018, Copenhagen, Denmark; 7th Africa Water Week, 29 October - 2 November, Libreville, Gabon.

•       A knowledge sharing session was devoted to water governance in Spain during which Manuel Menendez, General Water Director for the Ministry for the Ecological Transition, presented key challenges in the water sector and highlighted opportunities to improve Spain’s water governance system through the lens of the OECD Principles. Other presentations focused on supranational, national, and urban perspectives on water governance in Spain.


Detailed Highlights from the meeting will be shared with WGI members by 14 December 2018 for written comments.
The final version will be available online on 18 January 2019.

The OECD-WGI will hold its 12th Meeting on 20-21 June 2019 in Berlin, Germany.



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News type Inbrief
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Source of information oecd
Geographical coverage Spain,
News date 05/12/2018
Working language(s) ENGLISH